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11 people marked this as FAQ candidate.
Paizo PRD: Universal Monster Rules wrote:
Rend (Ex) If it hits with two or more natural attacks in 1 round, a creature with the rend special attack can cause tremendous damage by latching onto the opponent's body and tearing flesh. This attack deals an additional amount of damage, but no more than once per round. The type of attacks that must hit and the additional damage are included in the creature's description. The additional damage is usually equal to the damage caused by one of the attacks plus 1-1/2 the creature's Strength bonus.

Q: Is the damage from the rend special attack added as bonus damage to the attack that triggered the rend, or is it applied as a separate instance of damage from the triggering attack?

Follow-up QA: If it's applied separately, how is the damage type determined for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and regeneration?
Follow-up QB: If it's added as bonus damage, how does the strength modifier to damage on the rend interact with the strength modifier to damage on the triggering attack (since this FAQ states these are both strength bonuses, and thus do not stack).

Previous threads relevant to the question:
Rend + Power Attack (1/3/2010)
Rend vs DR (4/29/2011)
Consensus on Rend vs DR (4/19/2015)

Unofficial responses:
James Jacobs has stated his opinion that rend is not a separate source of damage. (1/3/2010)
Mark Moreland has stated rend is a separate instance of damage and that power attack applies. (9/6/2012)
Mark Seifter has run it as a separate source of damage, but has stated the wording is ambiguous. (9/23/2015)

The stat blocks for the Troll Ripper, Render, and Monarch from Monster Codex illustrate that rend does not receive bonuses to damage as claws do (receiving no benefit from the Amulet of Mighty Fists nor Weapon Training: Natural), except when otherwise noted (such as with rending gauntlets). This seems to be in conflict with Mark Moreland's interpretation. (As an aside, the rend damage on the Troll Fury and Elder Matron seem to be in error, with their rend damage not being adjusted for their slightly higher and lower strength modifiers compared to the bestiary troll.)

Improved Rending Fury adds damage to a rend, but mentions that damage not multiplying on a critical hit. Its Combat Trick allows the damage to multiply on a critical hit. Neither are possible unless rend damage is added to an attack.

So if you'd like to see an answer, hit the FAQ button! Thanks!

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Mark Seifter wrote:
Rhatahema wrote:
(rend questions)
Rend is pretty ambiguous, so it's definitely good fuel for a FAQ. I've generally run it as a separate damage instance, but you are correct that Improved Rending Fury has weird wording (it is honestly weird to mention not multiplying on a crit no matter how you slice it; I've never seen rend multiplying on a crit to begin with, and extra dice don't multiply by default).

Yeah, you also need to be able to crit with a rend for the Combat Trick of Improved Rending Fury to have any purpose. I may start a thread about rend as a potential FAQ candidate.

If the development team ever has time, a blog post on monster abilities (like rend, rake, and trample) would be really useful. Before looking at Monster Codex I couldn't be sure what damage bonuses applied to rend, and it's never explicitly stated how the damage is typed for DR and regeneration. To a similar extent, the same questions apply to constrict and trample damage. Trample has unclear movement rules since it was changed in the Pathfinder revision to be based on overrun, resulting in conflicting action costs. This is on top of the gaps in rules for overrun itself. I ended up just reverting to the 3.5 rules in our home game, which remain totally usable. Anyway, lots of monster rules that just don't gain as much FAQ traction.

Thanks for the reply!

That the summoner's ability scores are replaced by the eidolon's is probably the biggest restriction on excessive multiclassing. Consider how much a martial class would have to gain by dipping synthesist if they could use the higher of the two sets of physical attributes (or simply used their own attributes, as with polymorph effects). You have to stick with the class for those attributes to scale, but they do scale. Dropping your STR/DEX down to 7 isn't mandatory, though raising them above average is admittedly wasteful.

As an aside, not every synthesist thread has to be a discussion of whether or not they're overpowered.

@IonutRO: It's a bummer if the stat replacement mechanic doesn't work with your character concept. Though, on the other hand, that mechanic does fit certain other character concepts well. Cool as the archetype is, it's a really heavy thing to pick up and play if you're new to the game.

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This is where it would be nice for magic to include the Display mechanics of Psionics, which tell you exactly what perceptible effects the power has. Personally, I'd like to see a "subtle" descriptor for certain spells, which would denote when the components could be disguised as something mundane (such as charm person). Presently, the rules just don't handle it too well. It should be very difficult to determine who in a crowd of people cast summon monster as a spell-like ability, but probably not who cast scorching ray.

Hi Mark! There are dozens of Rules Questions threads relating to rend floating around with no definitive answers, so I thought I'd run some questions by you:

If a creature hits with two claws and deals rend damage, is that damage applied separately from the damage of the two claw attacks, or is it added to the damage total of the claw attack that triggered the rend? I thought it was the former, but then I read the Improved Rending Fury feat (and its Combat Trick variant) and realized the only way a critical hit would be relevant is if you added rend damage to a claw attack. On the other hand, that would also mean that the 1.5xSTR mod bonus to damage on a rend would overlap with your usual STR modifier to claw damage. Is this intended?

Follow-up: If rend damage is added to the damage of the triggering claw attack, is that damage multiplied on a critical hit? I'd assume not, but the above feat makes me wonder.

I was really glad to see that the troll stat blocks in Monster Codex revealed that miscellaneous bonuses to damage don't apply to rend, such as weapon training, enhancement bonuses, etc. That was a big question!

Thanks for your time!

PRD:Common Terms wrote:
Check: A check is a d20 roll which may or may not be modified by another value. The most common types are attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws.

Ability checks are a specific type of check in which you roll a d20 and add your ability modifier. For instance, you would make an Intelligence check to escape from the Maze spell or a Strength check to bust down a door. They're distinct from attack rolls or any other check that employs your ability modifiers.

There are no double light or one-handed weapons in Pathfinder, to my knowledge. Even if there were, the limit on off-hand attacks isn't determined by the number of weapons you have at your disposal. For instance, you couldn't make a greater than normal number of off-hand attacks by wielding a weapon in each hand along with armor spikes.

The question is then why you want a double-bladed sword in one hand. If it's just for visual effect, then I would just reskin an existing sword, or homebrew a new exotic weapon (though not a double-weapon).

The huge penalties to Titan Maulers for wielding an over-sized weapon seem a bit excessive. The 3.5 feat Monkey Grip let you do so at only a -2 attack penalty, and the general consensus was that it was a trap option. I know Pathfinder offers a different array of options (such as the Vital Strike line), but even still it takes a lot of work to make it worthwhile compared to Power Attack. Is the Giant-Blooded trait intended to reduce the overall penalty incurred by the Titan Mauler? Even reduced to a -3 penalty, it takes a very particular build to see any benefit.

Sad gunslingers now have no option except magic items to negate the chance misfire. Seems like something a class specializing in firearm use should, at some point, have the ability to overcome. Also, restricting more deeds from being taken with Signature Deed seems excessive in light of the nerf to Signature Deed.

I have mixed feelings about the saving throws added to the Litany Spells. On the one hand, they looked a bit too strong without a save. On the other, Paladins are going to have relatively terrible DCs given how low their spell levels are compared to their character level, plus the need to disperse their stat boosts. In particular, Litany of Sloth was of most use against casters, but now it targets their strongest save.

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I remember discussing this during the playtest, and Mark Seifter's statements at the time implied that intimidate would indeed shut down spells with an emotion component. (link). I would guess that hasn't changed, and that calling out the "fear descriptor" instead of the more general "fear effect" was an oversight. If they wanted to restrict it to only spells, they'd have called that out explicitly.

Hey Mark, a follow-up question to your FAQ on size-increase stacking. How is the Improved Damage Evolution meant to be handled? Its language is subtly different from other size increases:

Improved Damage wrote:
Select one natural attack form and increase the damage die type by one step

Bold is mine. Is this meant to be a size increase, or do you actually increase the base die type (such as increasing a d8 natural attack into a d10, a d10 into a d12, etc?)

Agreed that no, the rules don't allow you to do this. It's exactly the kind of specialized tactic that feats were designed for though. I'd suggest home-brewing a feat for it, assuming nothing like that already exists. A deflect arrows variant, or maybe a feat that allows attacks of opportunity against the incoming projectiles.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Cool! Most of those definitely do stack since you're right that several don't increase effective size (and you can definitely stack regular size increases like animal growth with effective size increases like strong jaw). We're considering a FAQ to clarify the lead blades/impact FAQ because it's highly requested, so that's on the agenda. If we did, I believe it would mostly be affirming that you can use most of those together. If I'm right (and I'd have to look at our notes), at most one of those might not stack.

Thanks for the response! That's reassuring news for my hunter.

Mark Seifter wrote:
Rhatahema wrote:
Quick question: Is the last die listed on the size increase chart meant to be a cap, or can a natural weapon progress past 16d6 by continuing the algorithm?
I believe we stopped there because, as per the current FAQ on not stacking effective size increases, very few things should be able to go above it. If they do, you can continue with 16d8, 24d6, 24d8, etc.

Oh, the FAQ on Lead Blades and Impact Weapons? I figured that was an isolated example, given the rules language (since you're treated a size larger than you "actually are", and since the enhancement is based on the spell).

In my case, I've got a Primal Companion Hunter/Mammoth Rider with an Arsinoitherium mount benefiting from Improved Natural Attack (gore), the Enhanced Damage (Gore) evolution, Strong Jaw, and Animal Growth. With all that active, the gore should be improved from 2d8 to 16d8, before powerful charge. EDIT:Including the base size increase to Huge from Mammoth Rider.

Quick question: Is the last die listed on the size increase chart meant to be a cap, or can a natural weapon progress past 16d6 by continuing the algorithm?

I was against the previous FAQ ruling, at least in concept. It might have been a great way to add versatility to classes who aren't casters and to make sub-par options viable, but it did so in a way that favored niche options with no thematic connection to what they were opening up. It was a solution, but not a good one.

On the other hand, was this really at the top of the list for things that need an FAQ? Reversing this took precedence over, say, giving alchemists an official caster level?

I like to visit this site sometimes to generate random magic item names. Many of the results can be laughably silly, totally nonsensical, or surprising boring, but a rare few will hit the sweet spot of being both odd and compelling. For instance, an early result I got was "Titan's Chakram of the Bear". Trying to picture what that item would be, I imagine it being horrifically over-sized with a serrated edge resembling bear teeth. When thrown, it'd roar in the air and maul the target it strikes by spinning like a saw blade. Then I'd imagine what kind of deranged, bear-fixated Titan would wield such a thing and I've got the basis for a backstory. Maybe adjust the name (Titan's Whirling Maw?), figure out how it gets into the hands of the PCs, and you're done!

As a player I'd prefer a magic item that asserts its history, rather than one rambled off to me by the GM upon its acquisition. A +2 sword might have a long and fascinating history, but if that history has no relevance to the wielder, then it's hard to not just think of it as a +2 sword. On the other hand, say that sword is so famous that the paladin wielding it is recognized as a hero just by association. Or maybe the paladin instead has to overcome its infamy by using it as an instrument of justice. This is good because it allows the weapon's history to become interwoven with the player's.

As to making magic items feel rare, I would start by giving character to some (though not all) non-magic items. If the only named or distinctive items the PCs find are magic, however uncommon, it sets "magical" as the baseline for significance. Instead, perhaps only a fraction of famous weapons are actually magical, and rumor and legend make it near impossible to know which. It adds some mystery to the world and can amplify the sense of discovery when the players find the real deal.

On the same note, I'd be sure to hold back at least some history with most items, or even obscure it with a mystery. Maybe the item's name and known history are seemingly incompatible with its enhancements. Maybe hint that some unknown power might want the item back. An item might also have had many names, with its current name only reflecting its most recent use.

ANYWAY, might have gotten a little off track there. Just some ideas!

Adamantine weapons allow you to ignore hardness less than 20 when attacking an object. As such, when you attack the floor, if its hardness is less than 20, you will ignore its hardness when dealing damage. Then you would compare the damage you dealt to the floor's hardness as usual.

Overlay the area of black tentacles with other debuffs. Anything that penalizes strength, dexterity, and/or the target's armor class will reduce their CMD.

Yeah, there are a couple ways to deal slashing damage with a rapier in Pathfinder, but I don't know any way to change the weapon so that it is inherently a slashing weapon.

You're going to have to elaborate. I have no idea what's in that book or what "Laminated and Serrated Blades" refers to in this context. If you can say specifically what you're trying to accomplish in Pathfinder, we might be able to help you out.

Only thing that comes to mind are tusk blades, which change your gore attack from piercing to piercing and slashing, and the blades could thus be enhanced as a slashing weapon.

I can think of other effects that change the type of damage a weapon deals, or the type of damage it effectively deals for overcoming damage reduction, but nothing that specifically changes the damage of the weapon for the purpose of enhancements.

Do you have a specific weapon and damage type in mind?

No. Advanced Class Guide was poorly edited, and it's obvious that you still need to meet the prerequisites for those talents without the text reiterating it.

I think interpreting whether or not an action violates the Paladin's Code of Conduct is outside the scope of the Rules Questions forum. Maybe General Discussion? Do we have an Alignment Discussion sub-forum yet?

I would say treating the damage as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction is a fair compromise. According to rules that are written, damage reduction does not apply to supernatural abilities. The FAQ response adds an exception to that rule without really expanding on the idea. If Ice Storm creates "magical hailstones", the bludgeoning damage should certainly count as magic!

So going only by what the FAQ states, there's no way you can overcome DR/magic. But I think there's a strong argument for supernatural effects counting as magic.

bookrat wrote:

I forgot about the ranged attack. That makes sense for only targeting a single creature and the others in the same square are only hit by the splash. That was my original thought, but I couldn't place the reason why it would be true. The ranged touch attack is that reason.

What about assigning the 1-8 for a creature that takes up more than one space?

I mentioned this above, but maybe it was unclear. With larger creatures, you need to pick a square to determine the splash area. Simply use that square to determine the direction and distance of a miss.

The FAQ on using feral combat training with flurry of blows adds a lot of very specific rules text that draws very little from what's actually written. It doesn't do well at setting a precedent for how to apply the feat to other abilities because it pulls rules from thin air. I agree the logic would be consistent if the feat accomplished comparable things through brawler's flurry, but it would be expanding considerably on what the actual feat says it does.

That said, I don't think the way feral combat training functions will always be entirely clear. It's a feat that where rules confusion is inevitable. But on this particular example, so long as both sides of the argument are represented for someone looking up the answer, I'm content.

I agree that taking rapid reload with a pistol to quality for crossbow mastery is silly. A rules oversight on the developer's part, but not anything anyone would actually do.

Otherwise, I'm in agreement with the others. You start by specializing in the light crossbow, and with this feat specialize further in that weapon (not provoking while reloading) while improving to a lesser extent with all crossbows. I feel rapid reload should have been written to apply to a group of weapons in the first place (all crossbows, all one-handed firearms, etc.). Like, if you take rapid reload (double-barreled pistol), it grants no advantage to reloading a single barreled pistol. Just throws you off I guess!

I wouldn't worry about nonsensical reload times. Pathfinder weapons barely simulate the weapons they're named after. Not a good idea in my opinion to start making rulings based on those weapons' real life counterparts. (How are you attacking effectively with a lance unmounted? You have a better chance of dodging a bullet than it being deflected by armor? two-bladed swords?)

When throwing a splash weapon at a creature, you're making a ranged touch attack, which means you pick one creature to target, even if they're sharing the same space. If the creature is large enough to occupy multiple squares, you pick one of those squares to determine the splash area. So if you miss, you would presumably determine the miss direction and distance using the square you chose to determine the splash area. Larger targets don't risk taking splash damage if they're subject to a direct hit, but it seems sensible that a creature sharing its space would (this depends on if you think a creature within the square is "within 5' of that square", which in this case I do.).

Well, I'll make one last comparison, then I'll let my argument rest. Don't want us to start running in circles. Brawler's flurry states the following:

Braweler's Flurry wrote:
Starting at 2nd level, a brawler can make a brawler's flurry as a full-attack action. When doing so, a brawler has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat when attacking with any combination of unarmed strikes, weapons from the close fighter weapon group, or weapons with the "monk" special feature. She does not need to use two different weapons to use this ability.

If you took feral combat training (bite), here's how I'm reading it:

Starting at 2nd level, a brawler can make a brawler's flurry as a full-attack action. When doing so, a brawler has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat when attacking with any combination of unarmed strikes, weapons from the close fighter weapon group, or weapons with the "monk" special feature (including her bite attack). She does not need to use two different weapons to use this ability.

Because the TWF feat only reduces the penalties for two-weapon fighting, I don't see the logic in saying you can suddenly make iterative and off-hand attacks with your bite. Though I can see the argument that the FAQ on using FCT with FoB sets a precedent for it working that way.

@Graystone: I understand your side of it. My I'm just saying flurry of blows is weird. Its mechanics are obscure and unique, and the only reason we know how it interacts with feral combat training is because the FAQ tells us exactly how. I'm just not sure what applies to flurry of blows applies to the attacks you make through brawler's flurry.

I'd boil brawler's flurry down to, "When making a full-attack with this ability, you have X feat when attacking with Y weapons, and your full-attack is modified as follows.." Even if a natural attack counted as Y, it gains no special exceptions with the granted feat, although it would be subject to the other modifications, if it could be used at all.

EDIT: Forgot to elaborate on this: two-weapon fighting reduces the penalties for fighting with two weapons. That alone doesn't let you use two-weapon fighting with your natural attacks, even if natural attacks are valid for use during a brawler's flurry.

However, the FAQ does say you can "use it to deploy special attacks that require you to use a monk weapon", which certainly leaves it open as a possibility. Not saying it's definitely the way I see it, just my interpretation. It's certainly a vague feat with an open-ended FAQ response. I miss the relative simplicity of 3.5 flurry. :)

@Bladelock: Yeah, that's probably true. But brawler's flurry also has it's own advantages, and thus shouldn't be assumed to have access to everything that applies to flurry of blows.

I would say no, they do not work together.

First, feral combat training specifically addresses flurry of blows. Brawler's flurry is not flurry of blows. They're mechanically distinct abilities.

Second, brawler's flurry, unlike flurry of blows, grants you the two-weapon fighting feat when attacking with any combination of unarmed strikes and various weapons. Even if a natural attack were added to the list of viable weapons, gaining access to the two-weapon fighting feat through brawler's flurry would do you no more good than simply purchasing the feat normally.

That said, I like both feral combat training and brawler's flurry, I just don't think they work together.

I would check this thread. The question has been asked and discussed using different examples in a number of different threads, but to no conclusive answer. My feeling is that they would stack, as one simply increases damage by a step, while the other increases the damage of your natural attack as though your were two steps larger than your actual size. Others will disagree. Something to ask your GM until there's an FAQ response.

4: Primary attacks only benefit from 1.5xStr modifier to damage when it's the creature's only natural attack (ignoring special abilities). As the elephant has two natural attacks (gore and slam), it only gets 1xStr modifier to damage with each of those weapons. If the elephant had only a gore, it would receive 1.5xStr modifier to damage with the gore, but that would drop to 1xStr modifier to damage when you added any additional natural attack, whether it be primary or secondary.

An elephant's full-attack with the claws evolution would be Gore/Slam/Claw/Claw, all as primary natural attacks (full-BAB, 1xSTR mod damage).

As to questions 1-3, I would say the feats aren't written in a way that specifies one way or the other. My guess as to a ruling would be no.

Undone wrote:
Rhatahema wrote:
I am not arguing that Freedom of Movement only applies to what examples it gives. I'm saying if it did, I think that would be reasonable enough for a spell of its spell level. And I only made that argument in response to the notion that its too weak if it doesn't apply to effects that deny actions.

Alright because that's not what it looked like.

It seemed like you were stating that's a valid and likely interpretation which doesn't seem to be the case.

I'm also saying that if you think the bold part is true you've simply no concept of the power level of fourth level spells.

Rhatahema wrote:
Like I said, my evaluation is based on my own experience. Recently, freedom of movement has saved the party rogue from being swept underwater and drowned, and probably saved a few of us against having our brains extracted by an advanced elder brain, amongst other things. Whether or not it comes up will depend on how often the GM throws water hazards, difficult terrain, grappling monsters, and other such challenges at you.
Perhaps the rogue should have a full BAB, liberating command, or any of several dozen grapple answers besides FOM which can be found anywhere but the rogue class, or have a tetori who's grapple is so high he gains control of it and thanks you for saving a turn on the pin. My point is "It helped our rogue" isn't a good argument.

When I said "swept underwater", I should have specified "swept by the current underwater". Anyway, not going to argue any further why I think it's a worthwhile spell without it making you immune to dazing, stunning, staggered, or any other effect that would deny you actions. First time I've heard anyone say it was a pathetic spell! haha.

You will probably need the Mount evolution to ride your eidolon, although that isn't explicitly required to ride your mount.

Besides that, it should function as normal for mounted combat, save that your eidolon is more intelligent than most mounts.

I am not arguing that Freedom of Movement only applies to what examples it gives. I'm saying if it did, I think that would be reasonable enough for a spell of its spell level. And I only made that argument in response to the notion that its too weak if it doesn't apply to effects that deny actions.

Like I said, my evaluation is based on my own experience. Recently, freedom of movement has saved the party rogue from being swept underwater and drowned, and probably saved a few of us against having our brains extracted by an advanced elder brain, amongst other things. Whether or not it comes up will depend on how often the GM throws water hazards, difficult terrain, grappling monsters, and other such challenges at you.

First, you should fully read the rules for Natural Attacks if you haven't already.

As quoted above, the maximum number of attacks your eidolon can make applies only to natural attacks. The rules for attacking with a manufactured weapons are distinct from making attacks with natural weapons. When combining the two, all natural attacks are treated as secondary attacks. Furthermore, you cannot use a claw or a slam attack that turn if you attack with a weapon held in the corresponding hand.

Iterative attacks with your manufactured weapons function the same regardless of if make additional natural attacks. For instance, if you had a primary bite, a greatsword, and +11 BAB, you could full-attack with the greatsword at +11/+6/+5, then attack with the bite as a secondary attack at +6 (If I'm not misremembering the order).

_Ozy_ wrote:
Mind domination spells can also ruin your day, and yet you can get immunity from those for a measly 1st level spell.

Protection from evil? Sure, that's a really powerful effect for a 1st level spell (too powerful in my opinion). Regardless, I don't think that means we should try to interpret every spell by comparing its power to protection from evil as a baseline. There are a lot of adverse conditions that I would prefer to suffer in combat over domination, but I don't expect there to be a 1st level spell that grants immunity to each.

My point is that if all Freedom of Movement did was grant immunity to the listed effects, I would still use that spell with a lot of characters. Which means that it's worth a 4th level slot based on my experience, at least for higher level casters.

By using a standard action to activate the power, you're opting not to use that standard action to cast a spell or make an attack, or choosing not to take a full-round action such as a full-attack. Because of its 1 round duration, the balancing factor is action economy. Granting your allies a +2 bonus on a handful of checks is nice, but it's not always going to be the most meaningful use of a turn. In my opinion it's balanced in that respect, and on par with the power it replaces, even usable at will. So I would say that's the intent.

Not sure if this has been mentioned earlier up thread, but it seems useful to me to look at how overrun has changed from 3.0 to 3.5 to Pathfinder.

  • In 3.0, an overrun was only possible on a charge. The overrun attempt was made during your movement, though you had to move at least 10 feat into the defender's square. You received an attack at the end of your charge as normal.
  • 3.5 added the possibility of using overrun as a standard action taken during your move. Later, they removed the possibility of using overrun on a charge through errata. Not certain why, but it might have had something to do with players using overrun to charge through allies, and their allies simply avoiding the attempt. Can't seem to dig up any relevant pre-errata FAQ on the subject.
  • Pathfinder reintroduced the option to use overrun on a charge, but failed to include any of the text in 3.5 that described how that works.
On the one hand, you could assume that an overrun on a charge is the same in Pathfinder as it was in 3.0/pre-errata 3.5; the overrun attempt is made during your movement on the charge. This makes sense in that they've essentially restored an option present in 3.5 that was taken away by errata.

On the other hand, the Charge Through feat allows you to do just that. This could be a sign that the overrun during a charge is intended to work differently in Pathfinder than 3.0/3.5. Although, It could also be the case that either the writer of the feat or the editor failed to notice that Pathfinder brought that option back with their revision, so they wrote a feat around it. That may sound implausible, but it wouldn't surprise me coming from the company that published prone shooter.

I will say I don't agree with the interpretation that you overrun the target of your charge. That's not what an overrun is. An overrun is running over your target, not just trying to knock them over.

Undone wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:
Going back to Daze and FoM, letting it counter daze is setting a bad precedent. Instead of making FoM stronger, it is better to just make daze weaker, which would also help out with the dazing spell metamagic feat.
Considering how high a level fom spell is and how absolutely pathetic it does if it only effects paralysis and grappling it doesn't seem strange to me that it would counter conditions which rob you of actions and allow you to continue moving and attacking. It's either a terrible spell or an incredibly powerful one depending on how it's ruled. The dev's don't seem to respond to these ever so we'll likely never know the intended and the RAW heavily depends on how you interpret the sentence move and attack normally which can be read to mean if it's disrupted you are immune or it can be read "You always get a move and attack as normal" while under FOM.

This comes down to opinion, but I think you're seriously underestimating immunity to grapple. Grappling can ruin your day, and you have a spell that's nullifies that tactic entirely. 10 minutes/level is often enough to get you through a dungeon. As far as the other benefits go, you'll be glad you've got it when you need it. Though I will say that, being a precautionary spell, it becomes a lot more valuable at higher levels, when it's not your highest level spell slot. Then it's just long-term blanket immunity to threats you can now comfortably ignore.

wraithstrike wrote:

The 3.5 hydra was really nice. If there was an attack of opportunity all the heads attacked and IIRC all the heads attacked as a standard action also.

The head sundering was in 3.5 also, and it is there because the mythological version was killed by cutting its head off.

PS: I do agree that they are too weak in PF, and that includes the higher CR versions.

Yeah, just checked the 3.5 Hydra, and Pathfinder weakened it in a few ways. Fast healing used to be 10+ the original number of heads, rather than equal to the current number of heads. Attacking with all bites was a standard (though worded indirectly), it could attack with all heads on an attack of opportunity, the bites dealt 1d10 instead of 1d8, and it had +1 Con modifier over Pathfinder's.

I'd say in either edition, attacking the body would be the way to go. But you can't blame them for putting rules in place to cut off the hydra's heads. What kind of hydra would it be if you couldn't aim to cut off the heads? Adding sunder in place of just choosing to swing at the heads was an idea of the 3.5 revision, in part because it did away with called shots I think, and also to expand the benefits of improved sunder (read that somewhere).

The spell presents little to no rules in game terms that define just how it allows you to "move and attack normally". The way its worded, that it even applies to magic that impedes movement, isn't a restrictive statement. It doesn't say that it can only apply to that. Though if paralysis weren't given as an example, and you asked me if paralysis would be included by the spell, I'd have guessed not.

At any rate, seems like something you just have to work out with your GM. And keep in mind that the stronger that spell is interpreted by players, the more effective it will be when utilized by NPCs and monsters.

wraithstrike wrote:
Rhatahema wrote:

The mental/physical distinction doesn't really suffice to me. Hold Person is an enchantment (compulsion)[mind-effecting] spell that causes the target to become paralyzed. And yet, Freedom of Movement would allow you to move and attack normally while under the effect of that spell. How you go about moving and attacking normally with 0 Strength and 0 Dexterity, I have no clue.

Anyway, seems impossible to argue what it can or can't do exactly. Seems to be needing at least paragraph of elaboration.

The mental/physical thing is just an explanation. What really matters is whether a condition actually stops "moving/movement" or if it says you can not take actions.

As an example if you have an exemption that says you can always drive even without a license then there is not much to stop you from driving.

However if I take your ability to get access to the car then you can't drive, which is basically what taking away actions does since the actions allow you access to movement.

This spell and freedom do need to be cleared up so people can know the limits of it. I am sure Paizo does not what to name every case, but a list of guidelines would be nice.

Well, I take paralysis to be a major point of confusion there. Really, paralysis impedes movement indirectly by causing your muscles to simply fail you. Which, in your example, is a bit like someone taking away the keys. Regardless, I agree with the distinction between movement and actions as a guideline at least.

I'll be sure to write a revision for myself regardless of developer clarification. Personally, I'd have no problem with Paizo revising the spell to outline exactly what it can do. At 4th level and 10 minutes/level, it'd be entirely worthwhile if it simply suppressed all movement penalties and immunity to grappling. That's more than enough for one spell, honestly.

The mental/physical distinction doesn't really suffice to me. Hold Person is an enchantment (compulsion)[mind-effecting] spell that causes the target to become paralyzed. And yet, Freedom of Movement would allow you to move and attack normally while under the effect of that spell. How you go about moving and attacking normally with 0 Strength and 0 Dexterity, I have no clue.

Anyway, seems impossible to argue what it can or can't do exactly. Seems to be needing at least paragraph of elaboration.

Hazrond wrote:
I am actually giving serious consideration to going Archaeologist, which would make the lute kind of... meh, do you perhaps have any better ideas for what i could take if i went Archaeologist? (the orb of dragonkind and staff of the magi are taken sadly)

Sphere of Annihilation would normally be my first choice for any character in any context. That said, Twin Spheres look pretty good, and the Rift-Born Sphere is better than the original! :)

I agree it's all of your uses of bardic music for the day. Though that can vary with your charisma modifier, so you could get away with expending some performance rounds if you took charisma damage afterward, I guess. I also agree that Archaeologists' Luck would qualify.

I wouldn't worry that the usage cost will make it unusable. It's already pretty unusable. You need to be 15th level to learn it (15 ranks in perform), at the cost of a feat, or a 6th level spell known at 16th. Then it takes 5 full-rounds to perform and consumes all your bardic performances for the day, which are expended when you start the masterpiece. The item activation excludes you from the earthquake, but as written, the masterpiece only excludes you from the Reflex save-or-die.

On the other hand, you can activate the box as a standard action to perform the masterpiece itself 1/week, which is a way better deal. You keep all your performance rounds and 4+ rounds of actions during combat. Still, how often are you going to have the enemies within 100', but not your allies? I'd take the Perfect Golden Lute.

There are rules for magic item slots on animals, but nothing for animated objects, to my knowledge.

Looking at how magic item slots are handled for animals though, as a DM I would rule that an animated object could only benefit from magic items if it had a form approximating a creature on which that item would normally fit. For instance, an animated sculpture of a human could slip on a pair of magic boots, but an animated chair could not.

I'd guess that it wasn't a mistake, but a conscious decision to restrict the feat's power. If it affected any threatened square, its power would rise exponentially with size increases.

As a side note, the feat seems to misunderstand provoking with movement. You don't provoke for moving through threatened squares, you provoke for moving out of a threatened square. They could have saved themselves word count by getting it right in the first sentence, rather than elaborating in the last.

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